Peace Narratives for Children

An annotated list of stories that foster peace compiled by The Blue Bunny in Dedham, MA.

The Warmest Place of All

By Licia Rando. Illustrated by Anne Jewett.

The Warmest Place of All is a wonderful book, beautifully written and illustrated, entertaining yet profound, conveying the most important message of all: that what matters most is love. This is a lovely story for both children and parents alike. I hope many will have the chance to read and enjoy it. ~ Riane Eisler, author ofThe Chalice and The Blade and The Real Wealth of Nations.

The Warmest Place of Allspeaks the words in a child’s heart. All children want their parents to know that the warmest place of all is with the people who love and care for you.

Teachers can use The Warmest Place of All to teach simile to young children and excite them to write their own.

Licia Rando used the latest research in interpersonal neurobiology to write both The Warmest Place of All and Caring and Connected Parenting: A Guide to Raising Connected Children. She believes that world peace begins with family peace and works to help build these connections. Licia has a master of education degree and volunteers her time with children in a homeless shelter and a domestic violence shelter.

For more information visit www.liciarando.com.

For Every Child

By Caroline Castle (Adapter), John Burningham (Illustrator), Desmond M Tutu (Foreword)
From School Library Journal / PreS-Gr 3

NOTE: the reviews say the letter by Desmond Tutu is a little disturbing and children will need to be older, so maybe this part is more for the adult about the atrocities committed against children.

Fourteen of the rights that were formally laid out by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are highlighted. The book begins with an introduction by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who asks readers to help make a difference. One double-page spread is devoted to each featured tenet, which is illustrated by a different artist. Some of the pictures are bold and dramatic, while others are quiet and subdued. Some are whimsical and others are serious. All bring home the point. Each illustration covers almost the entire spread, with the text on a small strip of white at the bottom. The artists include John Burningham, Shirley Hughes, Rachel Isadora, Satoshi Kitamura, and Jerry Pinkney. The book concludes with biographical sketches of the artists and additional details about the rights.

Kathleen Simonetta, Indian Trails Public Library District, Wheeling, IL
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

The Peace Book By Todd Parr

From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2

For children, the concept of peace can be a difficult one to understand, and Parr makes an admirable attempt to explain it. He relates the notion to making new friends, listening to different kinds of music, and helping your neighbor. Where he stretches it a bit is with sentiments such as, "Peace is wishing on a star" or "…watching it snow," even if the images are tranquil. Bright primary colors and bold black outlines define cartoonlike characters (animal and human) with smiling features. A helpful and engaging book that's sure to spark discussion.

Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved

The Family Book – By Todd Parr

From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2

Interspersed with the differences among families are the ways they are alike: all like to hug each other, are sad when they lose someone they love, enjoy celebrating special days together, and can help each other to be strong.

As he did in The Mommy Book and The Daddy Book (both Little, Brown, 2002), Parr introduces children to an array of families. Whimsical illustrations featuring neon colors and figures outlined in black show big ones and small ones, and families that look alike and relatives who look just like their pets. The art features both human and animal figures; thus, pigs depict both a family that likes to be clean, and one that likes to be messy. Some families include stepmoms, stepdads, stepsisters, or stepbrothers; some adopt children. Other families have two moms or two dads, while some children have only one parent. Interspersed with the differences among families are the ways they are alike: all like to hug each other, are sad when they lose someone they love, enjoy celebrating special days together, and can help each other to be strong. This concept book celebrating the diversity of family groups is distinguished by its sense of fun.

Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Whoever You Are

By Mem Fox. Illustrated by Leslie Staub.
Kindergarten-Grade 3.

Fox has composed a simple refrain to celebrate human connections in this lovely picture book. "Little one, whoever you are," she explains, there are children all over the world who may look different, live in different homes and different climates, go to different schools, and speak in different tongues but all children love, smile, laugh, and cry. Their joys, pain, and blood are the same, "whoever they are, wherever they are, all over the world." Staub's oil paintings complement the simple text. She uses bright matte colors for the landscapes and portraits, placing them in gold borders, set with jewels and molded from plaster and wood. These frames enclose the single- and double-page images and echo the rhythm of the written phrases. Within the covers of the book, the artist has created an art gallery that represents in color, shape, and texture, the full range of human experience.

Barbara Kiefer, Teachers College, Columbia University, NY
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc

On Our Way Home- By Sebastian Braun

This warm celebration of the relationship between parent and child is perfect for reading at bedtime.

Daddy Bear and Baby Bear walk home through the forest. On the way, they see many wonderful things - the golden leaves falling from the trees, the big yellow sun going down and the beautiful stars twinkling overhead. When they get home, Daddy tucks his sleepy Baby Bear up in bed. This warm celebration of the relationship between parent and child is perfect for reading at bedtime.

My Nana and Me

By Irene Small. Illustrated by Cathy Ann Johnson.
From Booklist / PreS-K.

A young African American girl describes a special day with Nana.

Lucky is a child with a loving grandmother, as this picture-book valentine demonstrates. A young African American girl describes a special day with Nana. They have a tea party, play hide-and-seek and dress-up, comb and plait Nana's hair, play pat-a-cake, and, after a bath, read stories before bedtime. Johnson's softly colored, warmhearted illustrations bring out the feelings of the loving relationship, which Smalls describes in her spare, rhythmic text. Sunny yellow hues backlight the child and her grandmother, reflecting their pleasure in doing simple things together. Asides printed in curly and wavy script express the girl's thoughts as Nana calls her "her sweetening girl." Endpapers provide space "to place a photo of you and your Nana here" indicating a push toward the gift market, but this is a gentle, tender selection that is suitable for libraries, too.

Julie Cummins.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Thank You, World

By Alice McGinty. Illustrated by Wendy Halperin.
Ages 4-8

Eight very different kids, from eight different continents, all go about their day and experience the same moments of happiness
Thank you, breeze, for lifting up my kite wings past treetops tall and proud. Thank you, trees. Your branches are my playhouse. I’m climbing to the clouds! Eight very different kids, from eight different continents, all go about their day and experience the same moments of happiness: greeting the sun in the morning, swinging on a swing, flying a kite, being tucked in by Mommy at bedtime. Uplifting and visually rich, this book reminds us that the world isn’t as large as it seems, and that life’s greatest pleasures are the simple ones.

All the World

By Liz Garton Scanlon. Illustrated by Marla Frazee.
From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 2

The folks in this small, diverse community experience what a summer day has to offer, including sun, wind, storm, and a sense of contentment and well-being

Charming illustrations and lyrical rhyming couplets speak volumes in celebration of the world and humankind, combining to create a lovely book that will be appreciated by a wide audience. The pictures, made with black Prismacolor pencil and watercolors, primarily follow a multicultural family from a summer morning on the beach through a busy day and night. A boy, his younger sister, and their parents experience a farmer's market, a lakeside pavilion, a soaking rain, a warm meal in a cozy café, a gathering of musical kin, and a quiet night at home. The hand-lettered text in dark gray is large and mobile as it moves readers along through the captivating vignettes. Other families are also depicted, and readers can follow many of their activities as they overlap and connect with the main characters. The folks in this small, diverse community experience what a summer day has to offer, including sun, wind, storm, and a sense of contentment and well-being. A double-page moon- and starlit illustration shows an overview of all the featured locales highlighted in this small slice of the world. Perfection.

Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved